Ruth E. Carter Teaches Us How To Dress Like Royalty
This special episode of the yes girl. Podcast is brought to you by your friends. Crown royal crown royal is committed to celebrating diversity in all forms and their brand partnership with coming to america is emblematic of this. Commit to celebrate the return of this iconic crown royal collaborated with oscar winning costume designer ruth e carter to produce limited edition crown royal pack. That perfectly blends the worlds of crown royal and coming to america together so be sure to check out coming to america on amazon prime starting march fifth. My sister how are you. i'm well i'm very. I'm actually really excited. I did a thing without you. I hope you don't get mad would you so. I kinda saw coming to america Sequel already always get perks by all eight. The perk but i am to let slide because dave guest and we're celebrate is appropriately beam to you cheating on me. Yes which is why. I brought up. So it's not really achieves more of an education. I had to do my research exactly For why we are talking with academy award winning costume designer. Ruth e carter the show francia throw podcast show before we had a goal rate. Come in with miss carter. Yes she is a friend. At essence we have honored her with our black women in hollywood war but she has her own receipts. Okay first of all she went to hampton. Hello agent greg okay. And although she won the academy award for costume designing black panther. She was nominated three times before for her work with slightly. Which included malcolm x. Steven spielberg's imus todd. And and of course panther pain plus films. She's worked on with spike ten and i've got to say this to We recently did some interviews with the cast of coming to american. Eddie murphy said it was her work in kirkland because he reminded me that he is from brooklyn and he just made her the customs the jellies all those little things really really brought him back to his childhood and he really really enjoyed and he was like. I've got to have her on my next project. But there's something else that we're loving room for. Okay and i've got to say. Have you got a box of crown. Royal charlton gas. Can we just. Where do we begin. I hope we just telling you. I feel more excellent. If commemorative designed by one and only ruth carter how do we do. We start with the glam. Can we start about the foil. Right the sacred. I don't wanna drink. I mean. I wanted to drink it but like i have nice to be a very special occasion. Now what you have to get to you have to keep down. And then when we step where they say it's back. Did you get yourself and your friends but they collaborated on this very very special special packaging by the box. Look we're showing you nominal. I think i wanna talk to ms carter. Because i've got to know all about mouse. Decided to work with them. Because clearly based on her great trajectory of work she clearly does things with intention and the way. This box in this back has been beautifully designed by her. No there's a story behind it so please. Let's welcome ruth e carter. Hey how are you how are you. I'm great hugh you want. I'm feeling fabulous as this design that you have created for crown royal big loan. Nice nice nice for snowy afternoon agile. I'm i'm busy. I'm hot toddy right after this with my. That's great that's great. Writers says what about this partnership. I mean. 'cause it feels very intentional yet. Is i mean crown royal has a long legacy of royalty at the the original crown royal aeko The blended canadian whisky was given as a gift to royalty and so with their long history of royalty and coming to america it was like the perfect mixing of of metaphors in a way that it's shining royalty it's showing gift-giving showy all kinds of ways that we can experience Coming to america. Because you know we'd like to dress up you know to go see that film and now we're not dressing up so much going to yes we can. We can share it with the crown royal and the design is all wrapped up into a lot of the Imagery that you see the film so you know the the line on the shoulder and the embroidery print is all in the film so it really is a part of the experience ruth. We know how diligent and intentional. You are by your craft and your process so tell us about how creative control you were given in the creative process for creating. This collaboration crown royal was great. When they contacted me they wanted to know about my experience. My process in no they wanted to look at some of the details of the imagery that we put into it and I knew from the start that i wanted to use what i called the royal print of the mass with all of the You know the different patterns around it. And also i knew from the start that i wanted to put the line hit right there in the middle of the once. I sent them my ideas. We were all on the same page and it was beautiful They sent me like a square blank. purple box. And add to drape the drape around it. Just like i did over akeem shoulder and And then put that iconic lion's head right there in the middle and i think it just went along beautifully with the brand you know the beautiful purple color and the pillow and you know for black history. Month is just a wonderful way to sort of kick it all off in coin our laughing. 'cause we were like you know it's such a the crown wheel back if stable we've seen people use the hang them in their cars like use them as like accessories right and we can really see this bag in particular being a wardrobe accessory and we were thinking back you once told essence ruth Design working as a storyteller apparel artist. You're thinking of the story and the clear pallets. You're working with the sad. You're exploring characters whether they're homeless on a grandmother assist or a cousin and making their personality. Come out in what. They're wearing one threat ed pun intended. That you kept as you designed costumes. For coming to america to one thread that i kept in the storytelling was the story of zimin and the family all about family royalty and so i wanted to keep the beautiful sashes and before malady of the tuxedo. Tails and the beautiful and african on kara fabric and So those things it was. It's thirty years old. So when you look back added you remember some of you. Maybe not but Remember where we were then and where we are now. We're so much more advanced in our our knowledge of you know african Dice for us. So i just brought a new understanding to the new coming to american. You saw the film corey what you think. I loved it so much. Because that's going to be my next question to you. There's know spoiler alert but because on back to you design when intention and being a storyteller. So i know each piece of fabric that i saw that screen had intention and it was authentic. But i'm digging especially about this. One scene where a lavelle klay by jemaine fowler. Who's in france. These walking through the jungle. He has to do his on right of passage which was believed of lyon but cast to his feet. And at the bottom you see those prints. It's like a quilt in their language. I really wanted to talk to you about that. What was the i mean. I feel not given enough credit to say was a skirt but what what was his. Yeah we were trying to blend his own style with coming out of new york and wanting to be more hip hop with the athletic and then being mooned i wanted to represent mundi was really trying to find his way. And so there's prints The bottom there there's leave it means honesty honour royalty family. You know all like positive thing. I know he would use to motivate him to come in bring himself into the moon but not forget who he was and so it was kind of a ma- among mashup of hip hop and african royalty Yeah all they're all every piece everything that you lay out beautifully in your mind to paper into the screen. I know they're all your babies. But i see two. Ad you have like a look lookback closest to your heart or a moment our particular scene. So many are i mean sherry. Heavily has not changed. I feel like she hasn't aged at all so most of the things that she wore. Were just amazing to me. And i had so much fun designing for her but I think the most fun i have was when akeem and semi were together where eddie murphy and arsenio hall and because i felt really proud to make them the prince and the and the his assistant back in the same way in new york as they were that i was honored to do that and we were doing summer when they were doing it. They portrayed winter so i had to reinterpret that into more of a summary fabric And keep the The jewelry de do jewelry adornments in everything the same. So that's where you get. The man asked zaire bag of crown. Royal you know everyone. I talked to has a story about the bag. Like i used to. Keep this my bags to keep that in my bag so it was. It's nice to sort of bring a little moon to people's collections But also i got to dress eddie. Arsenio as the old guys in the barber shop in you know. I remember being on set. That day dislike speen proud to you. Know have the opportunity and and and you know be given the chance to recreate that with mazing speaking about recreating. I mean a big part of who you are is giving back and bringing designers like yourself forward and we have the pleasure of being joined by two emerging designers ianna james and also cairo courts so please often them i ladies old now ianna. I'm going to say i love you. Work from insecure. You hail from spanish town jamaica by way of south florida you at fellow. Hbu greg graduating from fan you will. It was really your collaboration with ray that really projected your career. You designed for insecure design for sugar and you work on a ton of other things so welcome to yes. Go pack as he gives him to be here barrel in cairo. Welcome i'm going to run. Your receipts to cairo. Cords prides herself as a the girl from baltimore but she's also a costume designer with such credits under her belt as the affects series atlanta which we love and can't wait to come back netflix. Candy jar an hbo. Max charm city king. Presently she's designing season two of the netflix series raising dion. Cairo has a degree in marketing from saint. John's university but her career path has been bear very colorful. She's been marketing. A bodybuilder surfaced of birds you a visual merchandiser and a police officer while out a year can you any nine lives so many lives and she originally found love with the world of costumes when she intern for free on a film in new york. Two thousand to welcome cairo. Thank you for having me. You've done a lot. That is those are no when you read that. It makes me sound like i'm really passionate. I love eddie. I love it. I on a cairo. I've got to say that when you know. I've covered entertainment for many years so i always have a reverence for the people who are behind the scenes because i feel like no offence to the actors. But it's really those behind the scene. People that really make the magic and i thought about when andrews got up in one and was accepting her award that night from the from the academy. I wonder how many little girls are. Women are when i'm sorry. Hammered people really looked at her. And said i wanna do is she does so. Can you tell us. And we'll start with your yana. When did you first fall in love with costume designing. The first time i did it. I assisted on a series eight on a series before and i had just come off of styling so i was new into costumes in when i experienced. Just be amount of collaboration. A different hats that everyone has to wear costumes. It is really sucked I took a lot to the art of storytelling in how a piece of clothing can really set the tone in help further a story so as soon as i did it and the fact that they said so i was like i'm going to stay here in Every job that. I've done since then i've just loved it even more harrow. How about you was the first time. He fell in love with it You mentioned that started in two thousand two but it was a film called hebrew hammer with mary. Obama people are struck but once once they gave me my tax. But i did not know what i was doing. I just went in on under it was a online bank called mandy. It was like craigslist regret. Yet you could. You could go on there and you know say. Do you need some help for the day. And i filled it out and i came in not knowing what i was going to do. Like carry cameras league lug. You know like. I didn't know but i went. And they put me in costumes and i did not know honestly like that. That was even a position. was always into fashion. I was like oh my goodness like this is a job. This is a job. I work so hard came a pre. They were like do you go to school. Yes i do at night like chain by classes for this. And so that's when i knew like i fell in love with it because i i was up doing classes at night when a daytime like about coming free to work on this phone dedication you now you love it when you do it for free right. That's what they always say. When you just gotta get all of it in their one of the things that we love about Ruth and her her because he is a costume. Designer is how has amplified the story of coach in our lives and our culture and family and all of those things to eat role ianna kiro. How each of you whatever stories. You best like the amplify to costume design with the story of humans. I think I also different. Obviously everyone has a different story but there are certain commonalities in threads that every human in vigil shares their certain needs in. So i love. I'm familiar with black culture with caribbean culture with southern culture with his cultures. So that is the lens in which. I interpret a lot of stories through. But i think just story telling as a whole and getting lost in a totally different world outside of my own is really what i find. Exciting about This job And then what comes after that in the research that you know comes along with it in where we get to go take these characters so for me just storytelling as a whole. I'm just distortionary cairo. Ju i would have to piggyback. On what a yana say. But i think passionate. When i'm reading stories are like coming of age store priest or stories about children in it just because i have kids and i know lake reverting back to being youthful and not knowing what something is and discovering that like i just i have a love for that so i kind of gravitate to stories that children are coming each of those stories to you've got you've got to work on a nancy drew series right. Yeah so they are shooting the series right now under introducing a new character. Tom swift so Is going to be this fabulous billionaire tech guy when they wanted me to come in and design for this series that he the episode appears in potentially once. They do the spin in the series to that. So i'm working on that at the moment of in reading lots of scripts so you both you ladies have questions for rooms which are actually really good. So carl oser requested to root fire way. I know i always have Hangups about this. And i did not get to accurate This when i saw her in person. But how do you choose the films that you take on is there like a list of prerequisites that they have to meet in order for you to accept them. Like how do you choose your film. Well you know for a long time there was no meat using it was choosing me but i was protected from like you know the holly new would craziness because i was under spikes Banner forty acres and a mule. Then i came back to hollywood. And i was working with our townsend keyed in every way for years. So you know they would choose me But they were doing great films. Fun films comedies. And then i get to new york and spike would be like forget all the hollywood stuff we do and do the right thing so That went off like twelve years. Back or at echoed four. If a handful of a custom designs like you that you know we're actually working so it was difficult And for them. It was difficult because there was only a handful of filmmakers to and i was. You know monopolizing going that you know. They didn't do the they didn't do their films at the same time so i got to. Actually you know work with all of them But then after that after getting like a nomination and stuff you know. I started getting other scripts not many not many And the one that was right to stick out like a sore thumb. You know steven spielberg you know. Count me in And that's you know like count me in. So i think it's only now that i'm beginning to sort of make those more intentional choices Because i have done so much. In that i still have a passion for small stories. I just didn't independent film. You know with a young filmmaker who still trying to raise money to edit his film. But i just liked. I just liked his take on it. It was honest it was rich. The story was real. He was telling it from his heart and i feel like i can give to a story like that. I feel like you know once it touches my heart. I have somewhere to go with it. So i just really look for worst stories that move me and you know black panther moved me. You know coming to america. You know. there's a lot there for for you. You know so bigger smarts. I look for something to touch me and you have another. You have a question for route as well. Another great question really. Who has the better. We'll kanda or the moon very different. How well when. I was on black panther. I was like shouting to the rat rafters. This is not coming to america people. This is totally different. And one of the ways. I really made a difference was that i didn't wanna us too much in car fabric in in black panther. Because we were we were develop a place that was before colonization and so It was important to examine those things. That were considered like colonize things you know. And kara babri is done by the diet. You know and china so But i think if kinda is like the military center of africa where they're reading and technology and a little more serious Than the mundi is like fashion hub. Notes the place where you can have fun and it's big and biggest lied and it's it's royalty in a different way that's all about you know what you're wearing so you know as cairo knows cairo was right there. Beside me dressing. Everyone was in october. I if you know. I i was fitter. I'm on a team of great individuals And we were just off. Route would make something and she would come in and put her spin on it. Mike god i didn't even think of that. Why didn't i think of the hang. Yeah but i remember coming up to you on sentencing in cairo. Something is just. Should he have the vest or not you know and your answer was so intelligent and so well thought out and so quick and i was all i needed to hear. We were like vest off just witness conversation corey between booth in cairo. Yada like just vis vis magic of like you know being a trailblazer being rising stars in this combination. Ruth i really want to ask you. You're still creating it. But what is your hope that what your legacy will be so young designers particularly on looking at my legacy right here in a yana and cairo. I'm looking at them right in their faces proud of them. I'm proud of cairo for giving up her. Time for free A on. I've been on panels with i hear how passionate she is about. You know being a costume designer and you know really going through the fire because it's not easy. This job is not an easy one. It's not always glamorous. You have to really like work and you know these women are beautiful and you know. They work hard so The legacy that. I i hope to extend is coming to fruition just by them being here inky you all so much this is owned and now i'm going to really research accra fabric because i did not know that any. Yeah but there's nothing wrong with it. Identifies africa like that now. A little deeper history. Thank you thank you thank each new for your storytelling right and just for help making everything that we see on screen just telling those stories so beautifully and so authentically. We see you You when i get a crown royal the probably toasty ladies. Another part is just within good. Be sure to listen. Download or subscribe to more episodes of young girl featuring interviews with jada pinkett smith amanda seal i on levin and michael. You can find. Yes girl on apple podcast by google play and wherever you listen to fi apple listeners. 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